Dec 8, 2008 7:59pm
He's Gone -> Jam (or How I Spent the First Two Weeks of Winter Break)
I apologize in advance for the somewhat daunting length of this summary; I did my best to keep it concise and informative and even started to skimp on the summaries towards the end for the purpose of keeping length down.
Starting in the year nineteen hundred and seventy nine, the band started to explore a variety of pre-drums jams that would become somewhat common over the rest of their tenure. One of their favorite tunes to play leading up to these jams was the ethereal He’s Gone which had been introduced to their repertoire seven years earlier in Europe. These jams following He’s Gone would take on a variety of themes and lengths over the years with varying degrees of success (as is true with almost everything attempted by the band). During Brent’s time with the band this pre-drums jam usually showcased the fantastic interplay between he and Jerry that could send the music to unfathomable heights. After Brent’s untimely passing in the summer of 1990, when Bruce and Vince took the reigns the jams became about this same interplay between Bruce (and to a lesser extent Vince) and Jerry. I was drawn to these jams because of the astonishing variety that they offer with no two ever being the same.
The first time the band attempted this combination was on 10/27/79 with a He’s Gone-> Caution Jam -> Other One. This post He’s Gone jam is unique because instead of bridging the gap between He’s Gone and Drums it serves as a transition into The Other One. This is a somewhat disappointing jam because just as it is reaching amazing intensity with Jerry on fire backed nicely by Brent, they shift gears towards The Other One theme (which would become a common one in the He’s Gone->Jam sequence). Nonetheless, for the short amount of time they are on the Caution theme, it is done well.http://www.archive.org/details/gd1979-10-27.sbd.miller.29411.sbeok.flac16
This combo would be attempted once more just over a week after the Cape Cod show in Providence on November 4th. This is the first performance of what would become the typical He’s Gone -> Jam -> Drums sequence and it is a very interesting one. Out of possibly the slowest He’s Gone I’ve ever heard, Jerry starts playing at a blistering pace with Brent following quickly on his heels. The tempo change from the slow, funeral dirge pace of the He’s Gone to the breakneck speed of the jam is truly remarkable. Phil is letting some big ones go when the jam starts to enter into the realm of the trippy at around 3:30 complete with strange bubbling sounds and heavy drums. This jam is truly unique and is nothing like I have ever heard them undertake before.http://www.archive.org/details/gd1979-11-04.sbd.macdonald.7919.shnf
Just five days later they would break out this combo once more to a higher, tighter degree of success. The jam comes out of what is a mediocre, at best, He’s Gone and is fast right out of the gates. At 2:05 they start to pick up a Caution theme but at 3:30 Phil drops a large one and the jam is immediately transformed. At 5:00 Jerry redeems his sub par solo in He’s Gone with a fantastic one that continues that fantastic jamming that’s going on until at 7:30 the jam starts to dissolve into space; it never gets too far out there though. I prefer this one to 11-4 because instead of being spacey, this one showcases the band’s ability to create fantastic pieces of music on the spot.http://www.archive.org/details/gd1979-11-09.sbd.stern.tetzeli.fix-318.34936.reflac.flac16
The sequence was put on the shelf for the rest of November to be broken out again the 1st of December at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh. What makes this jam especially remarkable is that, although labeled a “Gloria Jam”, it touches on four themes. Brent starts The Other One theme at 12:30. When it seems as if the jam will be dissolving into space, the Gloria theme for which the jam has been named appears and after a Brent solo at 18:00 a Caution theme appears and at 22:00 Bob starts leading the band towards CC Rider. This segment is also unique because the jam leads into, not Drums but CC Rider which then leads into Drums. http://www.archive.org/details/gd79-12-01.sbd.barbella.6022.sbeok.shnf
The next notable performance of a He’s Gone -> Jam comes two years later on 5/6/81 in Nassau (Dick’s Picks 13). Before playing Bob dedicates the song to Bobby Sands who died on hunger strike in prison earlier that day. After a heartfelt delivery of He’s Gone, Jerry starts playing very fast which prompts the rest of the band to hop into a Caution Jam which soars to unbelievable heights. As is true for most, if not all, of these jams, Jerry and Brent are playing very well together and Jerry is playing some of the fastest guitar I’ve heard him play; the entire segment is very focused. Abruptly at 19:10 Jerry leads the boys into a unique Spanish Jam that is only barely recognizable as such. The entire 27:00 is stellar jamming that everybody should hear. They really played their hearts out for Bobby Sands.http://www.archive.org/details/gd1981-05-06.nak700.glassberg.vernon.10379.shnf
Over the next eight years the He’s Gone jam segment would be performed several times but never to sufficient length; only during the summer of 1990 was the He’s Gone -> Jam brought back to its former glory. On 7/6/90 at Cardinal Stadium, a landmark jam occurred in what would sadly be Brent’s second to last He’s Gone. During the song, it is almost too eerie to hear Brent singing the “nothing’s gonna bring him back” lines. Right out of the He’s Gone, Jerry launches into one of his best jam solos yet. At 6:15 they start hinting at The Other One (a common theme in these jams) which lends a bit of structure to this spacey jam and the drummers stick to it. The intensity just seems to build and build.http://www.archive.org/details/gd90-07-06.sbd.miller.12770.sbeok.shnf
The next He’s Gone -> Jam would come on the heels of Brent’s unfortunate passing after only the second one played since. At Madison Square Garden on the 16th of September, 1990, the band would channel Brent’s energy into a fantastic He’s Gone complete with a great extended Jerry solo. At the 14:00 mark, some fantastic interplay between Jerry and Bruce gets going and by 15:00 Jerry takes a backseat to Phil who is coming on strong. A very mystical jam with Phil and the keyboardists follows and I would add more but this is getting a little longwinded. http://www.archive.org/details/gd1990-09-16.bk4011.tdarian.french.88947.sbeok.flac16
The last notable performance of this segment occurs of 8/17/91 at Shoreline. Bruce adds fantastically to this version and gets into some great call-and-response type playing at the beginning of the jam. The real story of this is Phil’s “solo” that he launches into at 6:20 which is a quite good one. For the purpose of not adding any more length to this already daunting post I will wrap up my summary of the He’s Gone -> Jam right here. Hope you enjoyed!http://www.archive.org/details/gd91-08-17.sbd.josephs.497.sbeok.shnf
This post was modified by Rings&Bells on 2008-12-09 03:59:04